February fun at our YAC clubs
Every month, hundreds of young archaeologists from right across the UK get their hands dirty doing real archaeology thanks to their local YAC club.
YAC clubs are run by teams of dedicated adults, often volunteers, who give up their time to help the next generation of archaeologists to get involved in all kinds of awesome archaeological activities.
You can find your nearest YAC club on our interactive map; and discover more about how YAC clubs are run on our FAQs page.
February 2018 was no exception...
Here are just a few of our highlights!
Leeds YAC spent a rainy/sunny February day in Barnsley at Cannon Hall, helping out on an excavation on a post-medieval plunge pool in the parkland as part of a Parks for People project. One YAC member made an incredible star find ... a flint arrowhead!
Jersey YAC had a behind-the-scenes tour of Jersey Heritage's object store. Highlights included mammoth bones, penny farthings and a suit of armour made out of tomato soup tins by an amateur dramatics club during the Second World War!
Fenland YAC's February session was held at Fossils Galore in March near Peterborough. Now we all know that dinosaurs and palaeontology aren't really archaeology, but lots of the Fenland YAC members are fascinated with dinosaurs and fossils.
Club leader, Alex Fryer said, "Wow! What a session. It showed us how the two disciplines work together. The best bit for our group was watching the palaeontologist at work... and the old fossilised dinosaur poo (doesn't matter what era or what produced it, poo always has the same effect!)"
Brecon Beacons YAC
Brecon Beacons YAC went metal detecting and fieldwalking in February.
They had help from a local metal-detecting club and permission from a local farmer to be on his land. As you can see from the photos in the gallery below, it was a dreadful day weather-wise, but everyone really got interested and it was very successful.
The members (and leaders!) were all glad to get indoors afterwards for a hot drink and finds washing.
St Albans YAC
St Albans YAC had a tasty February meeting. Their members had fun making herb butter and cheese, which they served with delicious spelt bread and honey with yellow pea cakes, made by lovely YAC leader Sarah.
Central London YAC
Central London YAC made Medieval pilgrim badges in their February meeting, using some examples excavated by Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) for inspiration.
Pilgrim badges were bought and worn by Roman Catholic pilgrims. They were an early form of souvenir, and were sold to pilgrims at important Christian sites. The badges show pictures related to different saints.
Colchester YAC went medieval at their February meeting in the Roman Circus House. Their medieval timeline was embellished with new pictures. They listed things they thought were good or bad about the medieval period, and some of the older members of the club discussed them. Others designed medieval buildings with Lego and threaded beads to make bangles. Some members even created intricate medieval designs out of plasticine.
Worcestershire YAC members' February event was a visit to the Infirmary Museum. It is now part of the University of Worcester after the hospital moved out.
Mark, the curator, explained about the history of the building and what happened there (the British Medical Association was founded in the board room). Mark took the YAC members into the Jenny Lind Chapel. It was built in 1851, and is named after one of the most famous people to entertain in the 1800s: a Swedish singer called Jenny Lind who had the nickname, ‘The Swedish Nightingale’.
After exploring the chapel, Mark challenged the members to find specific rooms and put them on a plan of the building. The members also worked out where the bones pits (which contained amputated limbs) were found by archaeologists - these were helpfully marked for the visit in chalk!
Manchester YAC members looked at Great River Civilisations, mainly those in Mesopotamia during their February meeting.
First they tried to solve problems that might affect this type of settlement, including drought, flood and invasion. Then they looked at some of the cuneiform writing in the Manchester Museum archaeology gallery and on some tablets from the museum stores. The cuneiform on the artefacts had been translated a few years ago and this helped the members to understand how the Mesopotamian civilizations traded goods to solve some of the problems they had discussed earlier.
February certainly was a packed month for our YAC clubs...
I wonder what they'll all get up to in March?!
Remember: You can find your nearest YAC club on our interactive map; and discover more about how YAC clubs are run on our FAQs page.